A Zimbabwean who is based in Australia was arrested on Boxing Day when he flew into the country.

Kephas Gombe (27) spent two nights in police custody for accruing $14 400 in maintenance arrears. It later emerged Gombe (27) had not been served with maintenance order papers for the charge he was held for. Gombe regained his freedom yesterday when the prosecution withdrew the charges after realising the warrant of arrest had been issued in error.

Prosecutor Francisca Mukumbiri yesterday withdrew the charges against Gombe before plea after the civil court wrote advising of the error.
Magistrate Tendai Rusinahama then removed Gombe from remand. Gombe had, however, spent two nights in custody before he was freed. Gombe, in his warned-and-cautioned statement to the police, said he was not aware of the maintenance case, as he was never served with any court papers.

“I do not know anything about this maintenance issue. I was not served and did not attend any court to that effect and I only came to know about maintenance when I was arrested on December 26,” he argued.

Gombe has a child with Patience Karimazondo and on their divorce, she claimed and was awarded $600 child maintenance per month at the civil courts in December 2013.

It is alleged, Gombe paid nothing from the date the order was granted till December 2015, with the arrears ballooning to $14 400.

Karimazondo sought the arrest of Gombe, arguing that since he was no longer resident in the country, it would be difficult to pursue him to pay the maintenance.